Substandard Steel Smuggling, Threat To Economy, MAN Says
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has appealed to the Federal government to urgently intervene and stop the smuggling of substandard steel products and galvanized roofing sheets into the country, saying that it is threatening the economy of Nigeria.
MAN said that it considered the continued free flow of smuggled substandard products dumped by some countries in Nigeria as antithetical to the industrial development and aspiration of the people.
The association said this at the 5th Annual General meeting of the Kwara/Kogi states branch held at the Kwara Government Banquet Hall, Ilorin on Thursday.
In his address, Chairman of the branch, Alhaji Kamoru Yusuf said the stimulation of local production had generated direct employment to Nigerians, but the upsurge in the smuggling of substandard steel and galvanised roof sheets into the country called for urgent action from the government.
He said, “Though, the stimulation of local production of various products have generated millions of direct employment to Nigerians and has simultaneously attracted huge investments from new and existing plants in Nigeria, of much concern and of national importance is the unfortunate development in the upsurge in the importation via smuggling of our products such as galvanized roofing sheets, automotive batteries, furniture, cigarettes etc.
“We have equally considered the fact that the steel industry is currently challenged particularly the galvanized sub-sector which has witnessed some levels of investors confidence in the huge investments of over $3bn made in galvanizing plants as well as mega steel rolling mills in Nigeria in recent time.”
Other challenges facing manufacturers especially in Kwara and Kogi states according to Yusuf who is the Chief Executive of Kam Industries included lack of industrial park for industrialists, poor infrastructure, policy failure of government, delay in obtaining Certificate of Occupancy on land, high and double taxation as well as levies imposed on industries and workers.
In his address at the meeting, President of MAN, Mansur Ahmed, said that the association had published a booklet containing products manufactured in Nigeria, which was distributed to all embassies of Nigeria across the world, federal ministries and departments.
Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq appealed to investors in the area of manufacturing to take advantage of the youth population and the numerous investment opportunities in agriculture and mining sectors to advance the government’s economic transformation.
Governor Abdulrazaq who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, added that the government would take full advantage of its agrarian gifts of nature by opening up the various communities with good roads and basic amenities to make the state a hub for agricultural value chain in Africa.